They say Santa Fe either sucks you in or spits you out. This isn’t just something one or two people have told me. Almost every person I’ve met here has told me this. "Santa Fe will either love you and embrace you, or it’ll hate you and make you hate it.“ "No one here is in the grey area between love and hate. You either love it or hate it.”
New Mexico’s nickname is the Land of Enchantment. Some have changed this to the Land of Entrapment. People get stuck here. Or people feel stuck here. Some of those people leave. The lucky few feel enchanted here and stay.
Since moving to Santa Fe this past September, I’ve felt both incredibly enchanted and incredible entrapped. I really love it, and I really hate it. I really do feel no in-between. The highs here are really high, but the lows are lower than I’ve ever experienced. And all the while, the Santa Fe gods look on and laugh. If Santa Fe hates you, you’re just not cut out to be here. Simple as that. But if you are meant to be here, and you gravitate toward the “magic”, you’ll be embraced.
I’ve never lived in a place like this. It’s a small town with a big-city ego. It has world-reknowned culture, but many who live here think this culture has been derived from raping New Mexico’s real culture. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone here who isn’t interested in your zodiac sign, even during job interviews. Having a good aura is even important while looking for housing, apparently.
There are also very few younger people in this town. By “young” I mean under the age of 40. Everywhere you go, you’ll see older women with flowing grey hair, linking arms with an older gentleman donning a cowboy hat. You’ll rarely go out and see new young faces. Twenty and thirty somethings are few and far between.
This is a place that’s also ideal if you’re part of a couple. Relationships are huge here, and if you’re not in a relationship, you feel a new kind of loneliness. It’s a great place to have a partner in crime. I know, because I dove head-first into a pretty serious relationship upon moving here. This relationship had many problems, but being in a relationship was bliss. When that relationship ended, I felt more alone than ever before. Being alone in Santa Fe is hard. Ask my one or two single friends.
Needless to say, I have no clue what I’m doing in this strange town, this Land of Enchantment. Yet even though I don’t think I’ll stay here for too long, I’m starting to realize it’s an incredibly inspiring place, not anything like any place I’ve lived before.